“A Purple Cow, a Friendly Sow, a Hatter and His Wayward Plow” by Ken Gosse

The hatter seemed madder than even the cow;
“In a deep purple rage!” or so said the sow
who also believed that it didn’t much matter
if just one or two of the former or latter
were angry or crazy (perhaps both were both)
because, as a friend, the good sow was quite loath
to color their attitudes with quirky platitudes—
although the hatter’s bright color was such
that the sow became worried his heart pumped too much.

For them, all mercurious impacts seemed spurious;
“He’s no more crazy than yonder cow Daisy,”
but sometimes the porcine and her friend the bovine
were mad at the hatter because of the chatter
that most hats were felt, but some were of leather
(the best from a diet of clover and heather)
and pigskin’s used, too, for a fancier shoe
or for oblongish footballs where leather won’t do.

But now, sow and cow feared the hatter was mad
for they heard what he said to the cook, something bad
about cow become beef, and sow become bacon—
’twas time to diverge from the road they had taken
that led to the farm long before this alarm
offered either a care that they might come to harm,
so they knocked down a wall (which made neighbors mad, too)
and escaped from it all before anyone knew
that the fence which brought peace to their lovely green fen
would need neighborly neighbors to build it again.

It seems that the hatter adjusted to change
and soon found new friends (whom some folks thought were strange),
including a cat who would fade as he spoke
and a large pompous grub blowing thick hookah smoke,
but his favorite two friends were a rabbit and mouse
(and all three had a tea with a girl from the house
at the end of the garden—or was that its start—
but the rabbit was rushed and soon had to depart),
nonetheless, best of friends till their very last day
when the hatter was plowing and plans went agley.



Ken Gosse prefers writing short, rhymed verse with traditional meter, usually filled with whimsy and humor. First published in First Literary Review–East in November 2016, his poems are also in The Offbeat, Pure Slush, Parody, Home Planet News Online, Eclectica, and other publications. Raised in the Chicago suburbs, now retired, he and his wife have lived in Mesa, AZ, over twenty years.

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